I hope to bring you a mix of real local news about Coffs Harbour as many of you will never have seen before. My background was in many fields but one being Private Investigation so coupled with this experience and much more you'll find me covering and uncovering things about Coffs Harbour that Newspapers and others simply don't wish to cover. If you have a story for publishing just email it through to me using the contact info above. Please take the time to look through my "Concept Report" which could help Coffs Harbour massively.
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Council Exposed In Major Cover Up - Go To Page 13 Whole Town Duped Just To Save An Event? Council and Mayor Lied To Everyone! From The Top Of The Mayors Office Through Levels Of Council And The EPA Involved. Lies, Cover Ups And Corruption For Profits. There is no time limit on crimes!
The public shame of our town being neglected by Coffs Harbour City Council. People have to walk on busy roadsides everyday because no sealed footpaths are available. The condition of many roads are just falling apart and many don't even have proper sealed gutters. These are just a few photos of an everyday scene in Coffs Harbour. When will Coffs Harbour council take action over this public shame and introduce an ongoing footpath building program from our rates.
Beryl Street is one of Coffs Harbours main arterial streets and it has no sealed footpaths. Kids, disabled, people pushing prams all have to walk into the busy traffic ducking and weaving around parked cars with cars heading into them all the time. Cars and trucks often drive over the double lines to avoid hitting the people. Our town rates should be used should to fix issues just like this. Decade old problems the council chooses to ignore. Yet they can waste millions elsewhere.
Yes this is supposed to be a footpath with no gutters or sealed footpaths to walk on. Located in the middle of Coffs Harbour city. People must walk on roadsides just to get into town. This is in Ann Street, Coffs Harbour. How can people use prams and mobility scooters on this? The roadside is also on a huge slope inwards.
Even Rose Avenue below on our main central highway stretch has no sealed footpath. This is unacceptable and shows a basic lack of understanding of real community needs.
To Die or Not To Die?
The new Coles supermarket has changed the whole demographics for the road and pedestrian users within our town. People are parking directly over the road from Coles and taking high risks even with their children dodging cars to get from one side to the other. They're pushing supermarket trolleys from one side of the road and then back again to retrieve their trolley deposit money. I even seen a woman and her child running in front of cars with a large and small trolley to get back to Coles. The pedestrian crossing is too far away from the parking area and dangerously too close to the roundabout corner. The pedestrian crossing should be situated halfway between the Coles entrance and exit doorways at the front of the store.
And there should be traffic lights on the current cross roads intersection as people don't have enough time to use the crosswalks between traffic travelling time. Cars travel too quickly around corners, many don't indicate and people haven't got a hope of getting out of the way of fast moving vehicles. Its only a matter of time before tragedy hits. I've nearly been hit several times using the actual pedestrian crossing there as cars don't always stop. I've had them swerve around me and screech right up to my feet.
I've seen several older women at different times unable to get out of the way from cars as they just aren't quick enough to get over any of the crosswalks at that intersection. Luckily on these occasions the cars stopped in time for them. Why aren't there traffic lights there? I've contacted the council over this intersection and crossings and also the roundabout crossings closer to town in Harbour Drive. In fact half the crossings in town all have their crosswalks much too close to each actual corner. Most towns have all moved their crosswalks away from each corners making it safer and giving pedestrians a little more viewable space to get across. Cars can come from behind you around corners and you haven't a hope of getting out of their way in time. Nearly all crosswalk crossings in Coffs Harbour need to be re-engineered and made safer. Council is crying poor again! This town needs this infrastructure changed and quickly.
Council are claiming they will conduct observational studies there in the near future but as many of us know this is usually used as a stalling option rather than tackling the issue right away as should be done seeing peoples lives are at risk. While they stall for time people continue risking their life cross midway to get to their cars from the supermarket and also trying to cross the busy crosswalks at the intersection from all four sides. Its a fact that basic planning should have been done before and while the permit for this new Coles supermarket was opened recently. Action needs to be taken before there's a loss of life.
What Needs To Happen Now
1/. Move the existing pedestrian crossing down to approximately where the Disabled parking spaces are located in front of the store so people can wheel their supermarket trolleys and walk safely to the other side of the road to where they park their cars. This is common sense surely?
2/. Erect traffic lights on the Coles cross road intersection so elderly people and others have some security in crossing the roads to get to the supermarket from all four sides. Cars can travel at up to 40 km/h much faster than pedestrians can ever move in time.
3/. Move crosswalks a safe distance away from all Coffs Harbour roundabout and corner crossings so people have enough time to judge when to cross and so there is actually enough safe time for them to cross. Remember cars can travel anything up to 50km/h in these areas and if a car comes from behind you from say around a corner and you're midway on a crossing you haven't a hope of moving out of their way in time. A crosswalk that's too close to a corner doesn't give people a safe window of opportunity to cross safely.
Do people have to die before Council takes action over this intersection and crossing? I took all these photos within a 10 minute time span only. What happens over a whole day you may ask?
This pedestrian crossing needs to be moved down further and the cross road should have traffic lights installed. This should have been done before the store opened. Now lives are at high risk everyday.
This is one of the road crossings on the Coles corner section and it has no safe centre standing refuge for people with mobility scooters or prams etc. You risk your life everyday just trying to get across this busy intersection that should have had traffic lights from day one when the traffic conditions changed when Coles opened. The crossing is too close to the corner without traffic lights for a start as are most crosswalk crossings in Coffs Harbour with its outdated infrastructure. Photo on the corner of Earl Street and Harbour Drive.
Bicycle Riders On Footpaths
Our Coffs Harbour narrow footpaths are barely safe enough for pedestrians, prams and mobility scooters and yet bicycle riders going up to 3 times faster than that of mobility scooters fly up and down each day only just missing people in their path. Its an accident about to happen and the council is doing nothing to upgrade infrastructure within the town to combat these everyday safety issues. Older people and those with disabilities may not have the sense to get quickly out of the way in time placing them at high risk from many of these speeding bike riders.
Unsafe Gordan Street Pedestrian Crossing Another unsafe pedestrian crossing in Gordan Street (North end) has a blind driver view of where pedestrians stand to cross over. If you're driving toward the centre of town you can't see pedestrians until they start to cross and there isn't enough view time to stop. Many cars drive through this crossing while people are still standing there waiting to cross. Or they have already started crossing and the vehicle has to stop real suddenly. People can't always can't be seen till nearly the car is real close to the crossing. As you can see the stopping distance view is much too short. A solar "press only" red light could fix this issue.
Any high vehicles like vans, 4 x 4 etc block the oncoming view from pedestrians wanting to cross this end of the road. Cars travel fast and need better view stopping time and not at the last second of a view. As you can see by these photos cars travelling up to 50km/h would never have enough stopping time from where that vehicle is and from where I was standing and couldn't be clearly seen in time. They need to remove a few parking spaces to make the crossing safer to view from a distance. They have since converted one space only for motorbike parking which still isn't safe enough. Hard to believe the RTA is just several doors down. Pedestrian road safety is a big issue in Coffs Harbour but its clearly not to our council.
Better still all Coffs Harbour Pedestrian crossings should be fitted with solar powered press only stop lights as many drivers just ignore pedestrian crossings watching you as they nearly drive over your feet. Cars will stop for a red light but not as many will stop for stripped lines. If you use these crossings several times a day you find this out real quick because you risk your life walking over most of Coffs Harbours Pedestrian Crossings. Most are poorly located too close to roundabout interesections and drivers just wont stop on many occasions increasing the risk of a serious injury or death. People have been hit on some of these crossings before and there's been near misses everyday around the town. Most don't ever get reported.
Crosswalks Around Coffs Harbour Many of Coffs Harbour crosswalks are too close to roundabout corner intersections. There's not enough clear viewable time to cross the road so close to a corner. Cars can come from behind you while you are crossing and you have no way of getting out of their way in time. It may be clear when you start walking but the speed cars can go around a corner or roundabout puts them in front of you in no time.
This is a major issue facing Coffs Harbour but it seems few people in Council are prepared to address this issue. Many other towns over the years have moved away from these types of dangerous crosswalks and placed longer fencing on each corner and moved the crosswalks a safer distance away from the actual corners. We even have pedestrian crossings right near corners in Coffs Harbour which is just downright dangerous. It seems council is more intent on waiting for body counts rather than take precautionary measures to address these road safety issues.
We pay our rates and should be entitled to get the most basic of services to a safe and respectable standard. Our town infrastructure is decades old going back to the 1950's designs and is no longer is suitable for the modern use people need. We have an aging population that uses more mobility scooters and more disabled and older people are walking the streets having to cope with an ever growing vehicle increase on our roads. So road crossings need to be safe. I've contacted the council over these issues many times to deaf ears and total ignorance.
Most of the outdate pedestrian crossings should be replaced by solar powered press only traffic lights thereby giving everyone a fair chance of getting safely across the busy roads. Most of Coffs Harbours road crosswalk crossings are all outdated and are unsafe. Pedestrian crossings are no longer safe with cars driving through them every day while people are already on them. They would take more notice of a red stop light on a press only light system. Only a percentage of drivers stop at pedestrian crossings and many only brake at the last second.
Drug Sniffers, Alcoholics & Pollution - Coffs Harbour.
I produced this video to try and bring some awarness to the issues faced for years in Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia. No one seems to care or ever takes any action to reverse this growing trend. From drug sniffers, drinkers and people polluting our streets and waterways it just never stops or even looks like slowing down. Our local Coffs Harbour City Council takes environmental rate payments from us and does nothing. There are many things the council could do to slow down these issues but they care not to ever act. Even with a new council the issues are still the same with a complacement local council ignoring community needs.
Anti Social behaviour is not uncommon these days but if it allows people to continue with such behaviour it can become a real issue. Most of these issues occur in parks and areas all within a short walking distance from the council offices and even though some areas may have anti drinking signs placed there they're worthless if its not enforced. These things were filmed just a few minutes walk from the council offices so its not like they can't easily be seen on a daily basis. Original Song: Pollution - Written, composed, and performed 2012 by Johnny B.
Coles Road Crossing Area
Road Making Madness
We all know that building and repairing roads is a costly exercise. But in Coffs Harbour they've narrowed it down to an art of total waste and repetition. They fix the same pots holes several times a year and sometimes resurface the same piece of road three times in a year and its still no better. Then they go and resurface a couple of courts or roads that don't even need doing and let other areas run down into disrepair. I don't know who lives in some of those courts but perhaps that may have something to do with it or not? Why would you resurface a section of road that isn't that bad when other areas are crying out for repair?
Coffs Harbour road repairers have difficulty in making the road mixes bond for long enough so pot holes are broken the very next rainfall and all the loose material is left scattered over the roads. And so the cycle continues with waste costing the ratepayer even more. Yep no one questions it and tries to solve the problems. Many streets still don't even have sealed gutters with just dirt there. How many years of rates will it take one may ask? They get more money from us only to waste in other areas.
Blocked Drains Could Mean More Flooding Coffs Harbour is spending millions making retention basins to stop flooding. Believe it or not this a drain pipe in the new basin built in Plantation Avenue. Well there's a drain pipe under there somewhere. Every time they mow the park grass they just mow over the tree litter and it all washes into the sloping drain each time. Yes I know it could be common sense to pickup the rubbish and tree branches but for the council workers its easier to just mow through the lot each time and this is the end result after a big rain.
It may get cleaned out from time to time but the issue is what's in place to stop it from getting clogged up quickly in the middle of a huge rain period and if it can't be accessed at that time? Its only a small pipe and it wouldn't take long for that to get clogged leaving all the water to back fill not only into the park everywhere but also placing homes at risk of back flooding as well. I tried to stress this to them at the time of building but as usual it was just ignored.
One has to ask what will happen after the next big rain? Coffs hasn't had major flood level rain for some time but when it does its bound to cause some major issues. No doubt they'll just blame it on the weather and not their poor planning. Its become a retention basin for collecting rubbish. Whatever happened to proactive thinking? They even stated it wouldn't stop flooding in this area and it looks like it could be worse if there's ever another major flood period. Many drains around Coffs Harbour end up just like this.
Roundabout Dangers - Cars Out Of View
This roundabout located on the corner of Coff and Castle Streets in Coffs Harbour is dangerous for pedestrians using the crosswalks which are located too close to each corner and the vision of cars coming toward you is obscured by the hedge on the roundabout. The cars zoom around the roundabout and if you start walking they are upon you in seconds. You cant see them until they are almost in front of you while crossing. Many of Coffs Harbour crosswalks are like this being much too close to the roundabout corners as well not giving pedestrians enough safe clear vision time to cross. Cars can come from behind you at much greater speeds than you can ever walk.
Coffs Harbour Public School Crossing
Yes its been like this for decades and no one acts to change it. No footpaths adjoining other streets. no lines on the road, the crossings marking posts are just thin pipe. How can they seriously call this a safe School Crossing?
Footpath Too Narrow
This is the footpath on the hill section in Harbour Drive in front of the Coffs Harbour Public School. Its much too narrow for walkers, prams and mobility scooters. Its easily possible to trim the hedges back and put some sealed concrete path on both sides of the path increasing the width dramatically. There probably enough room for 400mm of extra path on each side. The school also needs to introduce a daily yard cleanup program as its been disgracefully littered for years. And they need to keep their fence hedges well trimmed or removed all together. If people don't ever speak up changes never get made.
More Narrow Outdated Footpaths All around our town we either have no sealed footpaths or they are too narrow for modern day use. It may cost a lot to get it done but that's why we pay our rates.Bikes, scooters,prams, people with walkers all have to use these outdated paths and yet there is no building program in place for the ongoing building of footpaths.
Street Crossings & Stepdowns
Many of our streets don't even have proper road crossings in the middle of town. One photo shows no split divider to walk through so people with walkers, prams and mobility scooters have to go all the way around into the traffic in an unsafe manner. This is on the corner of Beryl St and the Highway. The second is a stepdown so steep older people couldn't even mange it safely. On the corner of Coffs St and the highway at the traffic lights. The stepdown isn't even aligned with the actual crossing.
Are still being left all around our streets and creeks. Other towns seemed to have solved many of these issues but it must be in the too hard basket for Coffs Harbour? Perhaps our council could allow a scrap metal levy on them so people can collect them out of the waterways and off the streets? They should lose the right of their trolley property once it leaves the allocated shopping area. They are not a registered property like a car.
"It wasn't your fault mate the footpaths are outdated and not wide enough."
"That was a close call between the scooter, bike and the trees".
"They build lanes on roads but not on footpaths in Coffs Harbour".
This car had to slam their brakes on as a woman pushing a pram was crossing. Not the drivers fault due to poor crossing visability.
What Pollution Has Done To Coffs Harbour
I film nature all around Australia when I travel as well as making Australian Pictorials. You can find the link to it on the index above. Because I live in Coffs Harbour, almost daily I walk around many of the different creek walks filming and making many nature videos of what I can find. And I've done this now for over 7 years and every year there's been a steady decline in the nature as a whole.
Reductions in bird species, insects and reptiles. Coffs Harbour has been plagued with relentless years of water pollution from chemical dumps and rubbish by people under the noses of the Coffs Harbour Council. I've reported them to the council and until this year they've never acted upon it. Too little too late because now the damage has been done and it will take years if ever to recover from the toxic chemical dumps that took place.
Many chemicals and dioxins stay in the areas for sometimes lifetimes with some areas perhaps never recovering its been that bad. The council has just shrugged it off with no interest. I've hounded them for years and placed many videos on Youtube about this plight but still no interest. Considering our nature was one of our best assets and most unique compared to other areas in the world I'd have to say its been just devastating.
Our Council has for years even had Greens members and even they can't be bothered taking an interest and action on these local issues. Not enough headlines in it for them I'd say. They prefer to only go headline chasing these days and like most political parties they have lost their core values. There was a time years ago when people actually cared about their environment. But no action can be stirred in Coffs Harbour on these matters. How can the Greens party ever be taken seriously again one may ask?
The numbers of our once very common Water Dragon Lizards have dropped massively over the years. Places I go to where they were heavy in numbers have dropped down from hundreds to just a few if you're lucky to even see them at all now. Many bird species from Kingfishers and even the humble common Kookaburra have dropped massively too. You get to know all the spots where they were when you film everyday. And when all that dries up you have to know something is seriously wrong with our eco system.
Dioxins get into the food chain and kill the insects then the wildlife that lives off them disappear after that. The food chain has been poisoned and is now a broken eco system. Its been chain reaction effect over the last 7 or more years gradually taking away more and more of natures wildlife each year. When I first came to Coffs Harbour over 7 years ago I couldn't believe how diverse our nature was but over the years its all disappeared down to small numbers now. Our whole town in fact has been on a downward spiral in the last 7 years and one can only find blame on the people running the town for not taking notice of these most important issues.
I've offered the council numerous plans and ways to reduce everything from physical rubbish pollution problems and ways to reduce the chemical dumping into the water ways. But they have become blind to all these issues and just can't be bothered. Its not good enough for our beautiful town of Coffs Harbour. So I continue with my quest for some sort of justice for our town on this and many other important everyday issues.
Discraceful that there's no sealed footpaths along here to all the corners and other streets.
These posts may as well be display toothpicks and its shameful.
Where are the white lines? There's no excuse at all.
Another of the Coffs Harbour roundabouts where they let the trees grow too high to obsure the traffic view from pedestrians trying to use the busy crosswalks. This roundabout is located at the rear of the Home Base Shopping Centre, hundreds of cars use this every day. Pedestrians just take a chance crossing each time as the crosswalks are right on the corners too close to the actual roundabouts. Coffs Harbour has many road safety issues that it choses to ignore and people risk their lives everyday due to this. Hedges and trees are not required in the centre of roundabouts and they dramatically reduce the safety view to pedestrians and motorists alike. Low planted flowers can still give a pleasing view and be much safer.
There's room on both sides of this path for concrete to make it a little wider and more useful for all users alike. Come on Council use our rate money to fix this issue now. By doing that it would make the path twice as wide.
Both the same "new" retainment basin drain.
Pre-drain collection point clogged the same with rubbish. How much rubbish actually stays permanently blocked in the towns drainage system one has to ask in a town that can receive huge rainfalls in a short space of time? Its common for Coffs Harbour to get flash floooding as the drains can't cope most likely a lot to do with this built up rubbish factor. Could cleaning parks better before mowing and collecting branches rather than cutting them up with mowers making them drain fodder after each rain could perhaps reduce some of this issue? All the broken and chopped up branches float naturally into drains after most rains causing this issue.
The next time your garage or home has flooding issues due to flash flooding you may want to ask our council what they're going to do from now on about this issue that they choose to ignore. Our park areas and roadside easments are most likely the biggest areas for concern as they just don't get the maintaince they need on a regular basis. Everyone is paying silly high insurance rates due to flooding claims so we should be looking to reduce those factors. The lack of council maintenance and poor planning is costing all of us extra in insurance premiums every year and its one of our biggest overhead bills. Councils need to take action.
Here is a perfect example of a footpath built and never maintained by council in Marcia Street. Half is over grown with ground cover plants they put there. This is part of the park and the above new retainment drain and you can see what happens there. The actual section before this photo is always covered in tree litter and small branches that all washes into the drainage system. Many other parts of town are the same and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that all those little branches can easily make up one large clogged up drainage system leading to future flooding issues. Seeing many of the pipes are so narrow one can only assume they just stayed clogged perhaps? Part of a containment basin that rarely gets maintained. What good is a containment basin if its left clogged up and the flow through doesn't work? Yep that means more flooding as the water has to go somewhere else.
Where Are Our Sealed Footpaths? When large trucks or even cars like this park in domestic streets around Coffs Harbour and there are no sealed footpaths pedestrians, children, those with mobility scooters, prams, wheelchairs, walkers etc have to walk directly into the path of busy traffic risking their lives everyday. After over 150 years Coffs Harbour City Council has no shame and still hasn't introduced an ongoing sealed footpath building program. After 150 years there are no excuses left that could warrant this total disregard for community needs. They should allocate a fixed small percentage of our rates every year that pays for sealed footpaths in all areas that have none. And this is in the middle of town too in busy Beryl Street. These are every day issues that aren't being addressed.
Climbing to great heights to maintain our electricity.
The council never acts on trolleys left on our footpaths and in our creeks. Perhaps we should leave all of them in front of the council offices and see what happens just for fun? They don't mind them left around the rest of the town do they?
Coffs Central is changing daily. Part of the front shops walk is open as well as some of the new stores. I just hope they can survive our small towns population and run down economy. Lets hope the council will step up to the plate and drive more employment our way. As well as work on building up our population base and making our area prosperous again. It will take a lot of work which is not a word they like to hear in our council offices.
Everyday people risk their lives crossing on central Coffs Harbours pedestrian crosswalks. Always hoping cars will not hit you from behind seeing the crosswalks are too close to each busy corner. And still the council doesn't act.
What's Gone Wrong?
Whatever happened to our public morals in Coffs Harbour? People aren't safe on our streets at night due to drinkers and drug addicts. Our streets are continually scattered with take away rubbish packaging. And we haven't even got safe sealed footpaths in many of our main streets. I know its supposed to be a modern world but we're still stuck here in the 1950's. The council is so far in debt from years of poor management we can't even make our street crossings safe. Its not good enough for our town I say. We need a better system of management for towns.
The Coffs Bypass Getting Bypassed? If it were your heart and you needed your life saved it would most likely be done. But politicians will take the risk with all our lives but not allowing the bypass to go around Coffs Harbour. Well to expect anything less from our Coalition representatives I must say is totally expected because their political seats are too safe for them to bother with our needs when they can better use those funds to gather more seats in other swinging seat areas.
This is the cold hard fact about politics. They spend where they think they can get the biggest return of new seats. Suckers in Coffs Harbour keep voting them back even though they rarely perform for us except for the Monkey Abbott show when he choses to put it on for us. And his followers that are supposed to support our region are no better. If you want reform for our area you need to kick these sneaky mongrels out. Look back and ask yourself what have they done for Coffs Harbour? If your answer is "Bugger All" then don't vote for them again.
Its bad enough that we have top pay ridiculous high town rates and that they waste most of it on their mismanagement in our council system but its no better in the Federal and State systems either. We're being ripped off at every turn. When the north and south highways are finished B-Double trucks will set upon us like wild dogs canon balling through our central town going through each traffic light like there's no tomorrow.
Truck driver of these vehicles don't like to stop going through traffic lights because it takes them so long to start from stopping speed to get through each light due to the lengths of their trucks so they take chances at our risk canon balling through lights at every chance they get. They do it now but it will be much worse when the other adjoining highways are completed. We will be set upon by even more trucks. If you vote for Abbott you'll obviously be just voting for years worth of nothing and more of the same. Safe seats only get the beggars handouts.
Coffs Harbour has no voice. We have no people driving force. We have become a political football that's run out of air. Our town has been let down by our Council and all other areas of politics. There's no one out there that really cares that we even exist. Coffs Harbour has become a place where people just want to drive through to get to somewhere else because its not being promoted for what its worth. Other towns are laughing at us behind our backs while they all prosper. Our local council and politicians from all sides should all hang their heads in shame. Their voices can't be heard through the sound of B-Double truck brakes and them roaring through our town. Coffs Harbour just needs a stronger voice backed with some clout and determination something this town has been lacking for years.
Every now and then I'll post some of my original songs. Yes I'm Johnny B.
Bylaws Can Be A Council Asset Why isn't our council using stronger deterrents to clean our town up by introducing tough new bylaws to combat drunks, pollution, street crime and vandalism. Put signs up where required and start getting tough on criminals instead of looking back from the sidelines and doing nothing. Perhaps if people got $2000 to $5,000 on the spot fines for the damage they do they'd think again the next time. And if the kids can't pay make the parents or guardians responsible for the fines.
Coffs Retail Centre There's a lot more to having a successful town than thinking only about lining the pockets of the retailers. And these people are fools to think that somehow rearranging some landscaping, a few paths, put up some new stores to replace those that already failed will make a better a future. There have been many with future visions but no one is prepared to tackle the here and now issues which would build up to the future. This is where the problem lies.
Coffs Harbour for decades has been spending bigger and wasting more and receiving less in quality town infrastructure that should have been supplied by the council with on going building programs from decades past to present day. There is no such beast in place in Coffs Harbour.
So these days all they do is form committees, spend more money on assessments and dream away more of our town money. Money which could have been used to make so many things different in this town. As other towns have done the right thing our councillors and council system in Coffs Harbour has for decades let us down miserably.
If retailers want to make a difference to Coffs Harbour and honestly most of these people are only in it for themselves, that's business, then they need to look at the real issues facing our run down town and fix that first. All the supply of infrastructure currently comes from our council system and its their poor spending and organizing that has left our town infrastructure starved. What they do build is usually not to a standard that would suit the future of this town. So more will again be wasted when they wake up to that when they undertake other programs in those areas. They'll have to change it again and they wont have the money. The stupid part about it all is all those millions they've wasted over time could have easily changed the face of this town and the centre of town would have become viable all on its own.
Conning the people and continually making some sort of plans for the future when you need to make these changes now is just a poor joke. Enough of the fairy floss dreaming. Many people will be dead by 2030. People want to enjoy themselves in this area now while they still can. We have an aging population and you're not even coming close to catering for that need right here and now. All the most basic issues need to be fixed first. The little things. The everyday low cost things the council doesn't want to bother about because its not grand enough for them.
Don't worry about years from now because if you can just get today right the future will fall into place.
Fix the street lighting issues all around town to give us more safety. Security camera's where needed. Tighten up on drinking hours and security. Town bylaws to implement large on the spot fines for damages, drunkenness, graffiti. Have ongoing sealed footpath and street gutter building programs. Make all our towns crossings safer to use away from roundabout corners. Change all pedestrian crossings over to solar press only red lights so cars will stop. Pancake down all our roundabouts and keep 100% visibility for cars and pedestrians alike. Start thinking people and pedestrian traffic and make the paths wider for an ageing community future. Put a 100% stop to all supermarket trolley's out side of their limits with fines per trolley. Have streets cleaned of rubbish and kept clean as well as the waterways. Organize education programs and fines for basic littering with cameras along all our main streets with issues. Get the drunks and homeless out of our parks.
There are many other basic things like these that would change the face of Coffs Harbour to at least make it look more prosperous than it currently does. Trying to build around these issues first will never make Coffs Harbour any better especially for retailers. They will just continue into the cycle of going broke. Putting different icing on the cake to cover up the towns imperfections will never change the underlying issues facing Coffs Harbour everyday. Other towns have also tried this method of madness and it was only a matter of time when those retail businesses failed miserably too.
None of them look to the cause of the decline or the reasoning behind it all. And believe when I say its never just one thing as its a major make up of a whole range of issues different to each particular town. I've listed just a few for Coffs Harbour. There are hundreds more and using foresight to see things can change this town into a thriving self funding town. Many things can be fixed for a relatively low cost in the whole scheme of things. Once this has been put into place you're then in a position to revitalize the business and employment sectors. I've already mentioned a few of those ways in other written stories you'll find on other pages. Like with the Market and Rail Station etc.
All these people really need to step back and say lets stop all this dreaming and get the basics working first. Then we'll make the business and employment sectors work for us. Start at the bottom issues and get them right and work your way up. Once you've come close to instituting the above and there's a lot there to do then you can step up a notch and move into the: Concept Report.
A Sunday Near The Jetty - Coffs Harbour
Coffs Creek was blocked before the Australia Day Floods waters and now the waters have come down its still blocked with trees and garbage. Do we need a better system of flood and pollution management for our town? Coffs Harbour City Council certainly can't provide it. Areas left like this will most likely cause major problems. Our council doesn't act on pollution or creek obstruction issues. Why do we pay environmental rates? Write to the Coffs City Council and ask what your "Two" environmental rates are being used for? They never answer my emails back so what do they have to hide?
I photograph these beautiful creatures on a regular basis but over the years their numbers have decreased due to pressures from local pollution in Coffs Harbour. These and many other diverse creatures have reduced in numbers to alarmingly low rates with some no longer even seen only because our local Coffs Harbour City Council won't act on pollution issues within our town. Our environment is not an everlasting resource and if its not protected we'll lose much of what we once had. To see thousands of Coffs Harbour Photos just go: HERE
Photography 2013 by John Boom. My original backing songs written and performed by me Johnny B. Australian Pictorials - www.australianpictorials.com Please subscribe if you like the work I do and check out my Aussie Photo site: www.aussiephoto.com
Water Dragon Lizards
This is Rose Avenue adjacent to the highway and it has no sealed footpath.
You can always reply at my Coffs Harbour Forum above.
Fixing Australia Town By Town The core issue of Australia is the condition and prosperity of Australian towns. Everything starts at the grass root issues within each and every community within every town around Australia. When that system is broken then so is the whole country because the team of towns that make up the nation no longer becomes productive and they slowly but surely breakdown.
This is the Australia we live in right now. Our whole country has been let down with continued waste for so long that the core ideal of most towns has crumbled into disrepair. I've filmed most Australian towns around Australia and you can see them all here in pictures for yourself: www.australianpictorials.com which is the most comprehensive look at all the towns around Australia you can see today.
Over 750 towns most of which are disappearing due to many reasons but most of all the money that's generated for each area isn't being put back into those areas in the best possible way. You can't fix the towns or the country by continually throwing more money into wasted areas of use. This is the current Australian council and government system and the core of each town within Australia. You can't fix Australia and make it a better place to live if the core issues at the bottom are the cause for its decline. We need to start at the bottom and work our way up and out of the old systems of waste within our nation. There are more productive ways to get results.
A Better System For Councils Town Administrator - Manager Of Communty Fund.
Have a 4 year term Administrator that must offer a detailed town delivery plan for the whole community. People would vote for the best offered and valued delivery plan for each town. The winning elected Administrator would deliver what they were voted in for during their term in office to the best of their ability. Administrators would campaign there public submission for each election term period.
The Administrator elected would work with various local groups spending money wisely and use free labour where possible, pay for best valued contractors and get the best deals they can to get the jobs done. No more open cheque book spending and waste. Everything must be accounted for. So many things could be built for lower cost with just the cost of building materials and using volunteer labour. Millions saved and gained every year by competent Administrators. Nearly two thirds of current local councils could be dissolved and that money saved then used back into the community.
The state government would continue with its state based services most of which would be rationalized into larger cities. Example water, roads, sewerage, garbage collection, planning departments etc. People only pay state average fees and no longer these rip off prices for each different town property. Everyone pays one equal fee per domestic property. Everyone pays equal fees per commercial property based on size. This would reduce yearly rents for businesses and household renters too. The reduction will need to be passed on to everyone.
People would pay $900 as a fixed yearly fee for the 4 year term for the Administrator to work with to progress each town. Plus any available government grants and funding that could be applied on top of that figure. The present town run bureaucratic system would go. Its just a self perpetuating system of creating more debt. The fixed yearly fees could be indexed after the four year terms.
More Government land would be made available for more public use options subject to plans submitted for each by town Administrators. So towns can move forward and grow over time rather than become stagnant and non productive. Red tape would be shredded to a minimum.
Town administrators would provide town infrastructure items and community needed amenities. They would build towns up economically and make them viable again. Work toward strong employment creation and growth for the whole town. They would lobby government for the much needed work in the areas where most needed. Not areas most wasted. Millions would be saved and gained with this system. Take away the town rule by people that have conflicts of interest and political ties. Let the community get what it needs.
Hundreds of small to large projects would be actioned on every 4 year term using this process while the current council system continues to waste more money each year just feeding its own debt, rising operating costs, waste and self replicating losses. While the town gets next to nothing done each term. It may not be a perfect system but at least every year we'd be guaranteed some visible return for what we pay out in rates every year. Currently we really see nothing back but rate rises, waste, mismanagement and debt.
Your $900 per year then goes into a Community Fund, plus grants and funding and is spent 100% on community needed things. Doesn't go into debt, administration or waste. Example: Sealed footpaths, safer road crossings, better park facilities for kids, community club free use sheds, better signage around the town, employment creation projects, advanced dynamics improving the town for all, hundreds of the small things fixed, much more every year. And you'd get some of this or a version there of to suit your town. No rate increases on this part. What you pay you'll get back. You still pay for your government normal services like that of water, sewerage and rubbish removal. Compare that to what we get back now.
A Better System Explained In More Detail The new system would be separated completely into:
Council Supplied Services Like That Of:
· Water · Sewerage · Garbage Removal · Town Maintenance
These would be charged as separate rates for actual services delivered only. Roads would go back to the state and out of council control as they can't do a good job without qualified funding. If the funding can be supplied then it could stay as a council job. Major infrastructure would still be supplied by the Government be it state or federal. The government pays the council wages and that of the Community Fund Manager. All Council activities like that of planning departments etc is done by those employed by the government. No more councillors involved with their private agendas. The councillor system will be gone. This comes out of our GST state taxes.
The Community Fund
Town Administrator - Manager Of Communty Fund.
The other half of our rates would go into a community fund. 100% Of which would be spent on each town. Money from government grants and special needs would be added to this fund.
This could be spent on things like sealed footpaths, community use buildings, environmental projects, employment creation projects, beautifying areas, making more productive use of land around a town. Basically worthwhile ideas that could make a town prosperous again. Its not set in stone what the money is spent on but large areas of the community must benefit.
They may be infrastructure type things mixed with all manner of concepts that would make towns stand out and bring tourism to areas and make them viable entities again. It will give a town administrator in charge of the Community Fund a chance to progress each town year after year. Be they hundreds of small projects to a mix of small and large projects. The dollars spent will finally be seen back in physical attributes around each town. Even simple things like better signs or safer road crossings. What towns need to get will finally have a chance to get done with this system.
The community fund isn't there to pay wages, debt, or to be wasted on something that doesn't deliver real viable returns. Towns can get what they need this way. Even if its in stages like say sealed footpaths could be spent on a percentage basis every year. But at least every year something can be seen for that money. Major projects may be coupled with government funding on a percentage basis. Charity helpers can offer their time for free and expand the use of that same money even further. If people can see that 100% of every dollar they pay into the Community Fund is going back to them they'll be very grateful for that. This concept of town management can change this throughout Australia. Everyone can have a chance to take part spending their money. Will Councils Become A Uniformed Body Of Waste Managers In This State?
Amalgamating the council system into a like minded body of inept operators could be a future for local councils but where does that leave the ratepayer? Will this be a bigger system of the same waste and deception? We already know how the council system operates now and the people pushing for this change are the same people that may have been running your existing town into ruin for years. How competent does that make them to lead for this change one may ask?
If you're going to change a system of council at least make sure the people wanting to change that system were competent to start with and look at how good their towns are as per example. Would you base change for example on how our leaders of Coffs Harbour run our town into ruin? They may of course have their grand ideas for change to make things easier for them to take more money from us and be even less accountable if that's even possible?
Talk is cheap we all know that and Coffs Harbours had its assessments worth in wasted dollars up to the ceiling. We totally need to get away from these bureaucrats ruining and dragging our town into debt without providing a realistic return back to the community. The cost of wasted assessments in Coffs Harbour alone could have provided sealed footpaths in many streets that have none. Rational decision making has escaped our community.
Let the State system offer us fair supply of water, sewerage and garbage removal but then let the con stop after that. Leave the roads to the State services. Leave the local community services to the community so every cent we pay or offer goes back into real tangible infrastructure to benefit the town and not some individuals pipe dream with 90 % or whatever going to pay for the administration of it all.
If you donate or pay money you expect that money to be used in full to pay for a specific return for that money. Now all we get is deception, lies, debt, over spending, money skimming and mismanagement. Major infrastructure should be completed by the State services and not at the local level because that's why we pay our taxes.
A big part of our rates around half have only become another indirect form of taxation and its no longer used for what it should be. We aren't getting priority spending on the community needed things. Only what others decide is a just a way to waste and spend our money on. These so called decision makers and councillors are not making informed decisions on what the community needs to have in place. Its not just the system at fault its the people in those positions making the decisions that are at fault. Councillors are open to corruption and personal agenda.
Every town in Australia should be run for the best interests of its own community. Each town should have a bigger say of use from government owned crown lands as well so towns can be developed to suit their local community needs and not go to commercial and private dreamer access but for the whole community benefit. We need to take the burden out of communities where all these barriers are placed there whereby towns can't progress due to so much red tape. A working conciliation process needs to be in place that recognises each towns individuality. And yes that would need to be monitored and scrutinized to make sure commercial capitalization doesn't take over.
Let the state manage its level of compulsory and required town services. Let the people manage their own money for community needed projects. We don't need council levels of bureaucrats that drain our community of much needed funds. We shouldn't be paying for staff at the local office level that could easily be managed for by state level using the Internet or through other National based existing services.
At the end of the day we still need local people making local decisions for local needs. But those people need to be people that actually know what needs to be done. Not with self interest or from that of their backers. People that have the foresight to see what needs to be done for each town in an affordable way. Not money wasters. But value adders.
The best and fairest way is for people to vote for these people at an election based system on what they can offer the community back but in great detail and not these generalization ballots where you just need to submit your name. People need greater detail of what these people will offer your town and be responsible enough to be able to institute those offers. Not million dollars promises but workable plans and ideals a town can grow from. And not political based leaders. No more people with conflicts of interest. Real people offering back real services and tangible results.
Let the local state government distribute the main services but leave the community dollar with the community so they can get real tangible spending and results back for the community. We don't need more government versions to rule our towns in Australia. It doesn't work as only more expense and waste is generated.
To have a vote for one responsible town Administrator with a voted on town plan that can work with various charity groups, clubs and town progress associations. More could be achieved through every town this way than having more of the government / council system of bureaucrats that have ruined the fiber of most local communities. Millions could be saved every year all returned back in real tangible town assets. We don't need to fatten any more Turkeys for towns we just want the town to get its Christmas presents.
The council system is too costly for the community and no longer provides a fair value for dollar service back to the community. Its only become a system of fee extortion and mismanagement. Let the people of the town manage and get what they need for the town from their own money. As soon as council gets hold of the money its lost into wasted management. We would be better off if much of the community projects were completed by non profit group labour and those funds put back into the community. We could save millions every year and gain massive infrastructure growth. Something this town just never gets to see. Much more than two thirds of our council system isn't required in its current form.
This is nothing more than a push by these same people wishing to feather their nests further integrating a more wasteful system so they can continue to use and manipulate your money. No local council needs this. This is the biggest step back Australia could ever go because local communities would loose even more of their diminished rate dollar. With more administration and more waste. It would all be swallowed up into more mismanagement on an unprecedented scale with even less accountability taking place. This is obviously what these people want because they have no interest in what's best for the community and delivering a higher standard of services. This is about them making it better for themselves and not for us the ratepayer.
And you decide if you think another tier version of smaller government would be better for you. How good has any version of government been for you so far? Look at the levels of waste any version of government works at. This is exactly what we'd have with another tier of government run councils. More bureaucrats wasting your money. You'll need very deep pockets to keep those vultures at bay. Naturally the people working in that environment would want this system with a bigger dollar access to waste.
My article above: "A better System For Councils". Is a real fresh alternative for Australian Councils and it would revitalize all towns bringing back a system of dollar for dollar value back into the community. Real visible assets being put back into towns year after year. No need for rate increases because money is being managed to actually deliver true value and not being wasted into administration and debt repayments like under the current system.
So what you may say? Well if you have children and they want to work you'll find they'll end up having to move away from your small town because it can no longer sustain employment. This splits up families and there are ways to reduce this situation. But its too lengthy to explain here.
Town services disappear and I'm sure if you've lived in any small to average sized town around Australia you would have noticed services reduced from train stations closing down, hospitals close, stores and businesses closing, and look the list is endless but towns basically become less viable to live in forcing people to leave at a loss and set up closer to bigger city areas where services are constantly growing. This has been the trend for the last 50 years.
All those towns that have had that exodus happen have become a version of a ghost town only inhabited by people that can't afford to leave or are too old to start over. Some may be grasping on to some form of business or employment for as long as it lasts. Only because the system wasn't in place to recognise the grass root issues of not spending back into each community to keep each town viable and alive. More than three quarters of the towns in Australia are in that situation right now. Most will never be able to recover.
Some could be revitalized if fast trains were close enough to the larger regional areas where more employment growth is possible. Another area that would take some pages of writing to talk about. But fast trains are a long way a way at this stage and by the time they do arrive most of the towns that were on the edge of still being viable now will be left aside as well. Towns can only be propped up for so long before the people doing so leave. There has to be a visible hope and clear direction of growth taking place. Australia needs to save as many viable towns as it can before its too late.
Visit our new At Coffs website promoting the best of Coffs Harbour
Visit my At Coffs Website which shows all the best things about Coffs Harbour to the world. See what many people living here rarely bother to look out for. We have such a beautiful town and it needs to be looked after much better than it has been to at least try and keep some of our nature and beauty alive.
I've put together a small collection of photos I've taken of Coffs Harbour to show others some of the nature in our town area. All these photos are from the central town area of Coffs Harbour being about a 1 KM radius from the CBD. Our town is on the coast in a semi tropical rainforest area that has a diverse amount of wildlife and nature. The mild all year round climate makes it one of the most unique places in the world.
The Scandalous Behaviour Of Our Coffs Harbour City Council Trying To Cover Up The Ratepayer Portion Of Rates Spent On Many Events Is Finally Catching Up With Them. Read The Latest On Page 26. The Coffs Harbour Council wants to make it as hard as possible for you the ratepayer to find out how much they've been spending of your rates on events. And yes it runs ito millions every year! Its no wonder they want to increase rates every year so they can continue their cover-ups.
Snouts In The Trough
Many people think the building industry is filled with corruption. But so is the process of council whereby outside influences can work with "some" councillor/s and other working staff decisions. Its become like a form of "insider trading" whereby contracts and jobs can be "made" to go certain ways by asserting influence on votes or decisions sometimes on other unsuspecting councillors and workers believing what someone else tells them as being the best deal. They may never know the real truth or even suspect that those original ideas were plans by someone else from outside of council using sometimes just one person to affect a special outcome in their favour.
I have investigated many such circumstances just like that and for the average honest person in the street they would never think it could happen that way. Unfortunately the situation is riff. Our local council system Australia wide has become like a gold mine for secret investors, builders, assessors, and then organized crime together with much of that. When millions can be made you'll find this and our councils are the true patsies for this type of everyday crime. It goes well beyond just favours for mates. There are many that will fight tooth and nail to keep this corrupt Council system in practice. It's little wonder why. You may think the people you're working with are honest but some are just being used as patsies and lets be clear it is organized crime.